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Mystery plants from Florida trip

May 3, 2021 at 8:50 a.m.

This weeks mystery plants were all growing at Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama.

Acalypha - Green copper plant is a member of the euphorbia family, native to Fiji. While many people are familiar with the copper or orange colored plant with this name,

the green and yellow foliaged forms are quite nice. Although the plants do bloom, the flowers are somewhat insignificant

--you are growing it for the foliage. This tropical plant likes full sun and consistent moisture. It can grow to be 3-4 feet tall and about 3 feet wide in one season.

It does well in the ground or in a container. It will not overwinter outdoors.

Glory Bower - Clerodendrum thomsoniae,

also called bleeding heart vine (not to be confused with Dicentra,

or bleeding heart perennial), this bleeding heart vine is a tropical plant from west Africa.

The true flower is the red tip, sprouting out from the white calyx. It has a somewhat vining habit to it, and can be grown in hanging baskets or given a small trellis to grow up.

It blooms all summer long in full sun to partial shade. It can continue blooming indoors in the winter with sufficient light. It does best with even moisture, and regular fertilization.

White shrimp plant - Justicia betonica

also called Squirrel's Tail, is another tropical plant for us native to Asia. The plant produces spiked blooms. The true flowers are small lavender blossoms encased in the white bracts which are veined in green.

In Hawaii, this plant has escaped and is considered an invasive species. It blooms all summer and is attractive to bees and butterflies.

It will grow in full sun to partial shade, but would prefer some protection from hot afternoon sun.

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